How Do You Write an Employee Termination Letter?

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An employee termination letter is used when an employer severs ties with an employee, which happens under a variety of circumstances, such as poor job performance, unethical behavior, poor attendance, insubordination and layoffs. According to, a termination letter often includes a description of why the employee was let go as well as information about the transition process.

Termination letters are printed on official company paper and typically approved by legal advisers. A letter is often part of the exit interview process and is commonly presented to the terminated worker at the end of the interview. However, it is sometimes sent through the mail with a return receipt requested. During the exit interview, a representative from Human Resources meets with the former employee to discuss relevant information. The responsibilities of both parties are covered, and the letter summarizes the meeting.

For example, an employer often asks a former employee to keep the company updated on any change of address until it forwards the employee a W-2 tax form. Employers also indicate any benefits and outstanding pay owed. A copy of the termination letter is kept in the employee's personnel file in case the information is needed in the future, such as to provide information for unemployment claims.